Conflicts & War

European countries evacuate thousands from Kabul as deadline looms

London, Aug 25 (EFE).- European nations have evacuated thousands of people from Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country and have sped up operations before the August 31 deadline.

Dominic Raab, the British foreign secretary, said Wednesday that the United Kingdom had so far pulled 9,000 Britons and at-risk Afghans out of Kabul.

Speaking to Times Radio, Raab stressed that the Taliban would not be able to prevent qualified Afghans such as doctors from fleeing the country after the Islamist movement said it would block citizens trying to leave from reaching Kabul’s airport.

If the Taliban want to avoid a brain drain, they will have to find a way to attract other factions and be more inclusive and more moderate, the British official added, a day after leaders from the G7 nations held a virtual meeting to address the Afghanistan crisis.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at the end of the meeting that the G7 countries would demand a safe passage from the Taliban for those who want to leave Afghanistan after August 31, the US troop withdrawal deadline.

Despite pleas from European allies on Tuesday to extend the mission to evacuate more people, President Joe Biden said he was sticking to the deadline.

NATO allies, earlier this year, said they would end their operations in Afghanistan following the lead of the US.

Ensuring safe passage for further evacuations from Kabul’s airport will be difficult once the US troops leave the facility and turned it over to the Taliban.

Germany has evacuated some 4,600 people from 44 nationalities so far, according to the country’s defense ministry on Wednesday.

“Yesterday the Bundeswehr (armed forces) brought a total of 983 people from Kabul to Tashkent in 5 rounds — more than on any other day. Efforts to evacuate are accelerated and will continue — by now: over 4600 people from 44 nationalities,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.

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